Post List

  • July 26, 2010
  • 06:51 AM

A tale of two circuits

by Becky in It Takes 30

This is a story about a fortunate coincidence.  In two papers published simultaneously last year, the Kirschner lab and the Alon lab each noticed that the signaling pathway they were studying appeared to have peculiar responses.  In both cases, the amount of output — or at least, what had previously been assumed to be the [...]... Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 06:15 AM

Quasispecies thoughts

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Quasispecies theory predicts that slower replicators will be favored if they give rise to progeny that are on average more fit; these populations occupy short, flat regions of the fitness landscape … Flat quasispecies accept mutation without a corresponding effect on fitness … A flat quasispecies with an expansive mutant repertoire can explore vast regions of [...]... Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article Review: Premature diagnostic closure

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

You are taking care of a patient, who frequently presents to the ED for polysubstance use. You are pretty sure his altered mental status is from polysubstance use again. He was found in his home next to drug paraphernalia. He intermittently becomes severely agitated, and so you give him sedatives. He has a low-grade fever, but you attribute that to his psychomotor agitation and likely stimulant use. Because he remains confused and lethargic after 8 hours, you admit him to an inpatient team to aw........ Read more »

Eva KW, Link CL, Lutfey KE, & McKinlay JB. (2010) Swapping horses midstream: factors related to physicians' changing their minds about a diagnosis. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(7), 1112-7. PMID: 20592506  

  • July 26, 2010
  • 05:40 AM

For Great Apes, Addressing Inequality is Child’s Play

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Writing in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, researchers Edwin Van Leeuwen, Elke Zimmermann, and Marina Davila Ross have shown that gorillas demonstrate an understanding of inequality that they use to modify their behavior under changing social conditions. In more than 85% of the play bouts it was the tagger who made the first move to run as well as the one who ran away. This suggests that there was an implicit understanding that the act of tagging resulted in an unequal relationship an........ Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Expanding the Definition of Conflict of Interest - Big Food Edition

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

This month the Annals of Family Medicine published a point/counterpoint discussion of last year's awful decision by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to partner up with Coca-Cola.Howard Brody, arguing that the AAFP's deal was clearly a conflict of interest, explains that by definition a conflict of interest, "arises when individuals or organizations enter into a set of arrangements which under usual circumstances would lead to the reasonable presumption that they will be tempted t........ Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 05:20 AM

Why the first test tube baby nearly didn’t happen

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

As our Wellcome Film and Image of the Month posts yesterday indicated, it was 32 years ago that the birth of the world’s first ‘test tube baby’ using the new technique of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) occurred. It revolutionised reproductive science but this major development was privately – rather than publicly – funded as the [...]... Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Mediterranean Diet Prevents Breast Cancer

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Advanced Mediterranean Diet

A study in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition associates the Mediterranean diet with lower risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal Greek women.
The evidence is from the Greek portion of the massive EPIC study: European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and nutrition.  Investigators followed almost 15,000 women for 10 years.  No protective effect was seen for [...]... Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 04:33 AM

What's the link between left-handedness and drinking behaviour?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Back in the 70's, psychologist Paul Bakan published a short research report in which he noted that among 47 inpatients on an alcoholism ward, 7 were left-handed - more than you'd expect based on the approximate 10-per cent prevalence of left-handedness in the general population. Bakan described his observation as 'incidental' but according to Kevin Denny, the idea of an alcoholism-handedness link has proven sticky, with some commentators suggesting the stress of being left-handed in a right-hand........ Read more »

Denny, K. (2010) Handedness and drinking behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology. DOI: 10.1348/135910710X515705  

  • July 26, 2010
  • 02:18 AM

The neural response to emotional robots

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

When it comes to robotics, Japan is way ahead of the rest of the world.  Reality is quickly catching up with science-fiction as robots are being used and developed for increasingly complex behaviours. There are now Japanese robots that function as security guards, trainers for professional skills, and even pets and social companions.Robots are taking over roles that were once thought to make humans unique. An archetypal example of this is the use of robots for cognitive therapy. Robots are ........ Read more »

Thierry Chaminade1,2*, Massimiliano Zecca3,4,5, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore6, Atsuo Takanishi, Chris D.Frith1, Silvestro Micera, Paolo Dario, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Vittorio Gallese11, & Maria Alessandra Umilta. (2010) Brain Response to a Humanoid Robot in Areas Implicated in the Perception of Human Emotional Gestures. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • July 26, 2010
  • 02:03 AM

Facebook and Professionalism

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Does Facebook and other social networking services damage the profession of physicians or the public trust in this profession? So far no systematic research into this topic has been published. However several cases were presented in the media resulting in disciplinary measures. On social networking sites patients may learn information about their doctors that compromises [...]

Related posts:The Dangers of Facebook or Let’s Be Careful Out There
Facebook and Academic Performance
Facebook ........ Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 01:48 AM

…back to school

by Rift in Psycasm

Horrah. Uni is back in session, and I am once again given a purpose. Not that I squandered my holidays by any means. I spent most of it on campus doing lab work, but now the work I do has a direct benefit, rather than one that has more indirect and long-term benefits (which will [...]... Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 09:56 PM

Cultural Diversity, Economic Development and Societal Instability

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Most of you in the science blogosphere have probably come across Razib’s recent post on linguistic diversity and poverty. The basic argument being that linguistic homogeneity is good for economic development and general prosperity. I was quite happy to let the debate unfold and limit my stance on the subject to the following few sentences I . . . → Read More: Cultural Diversity, Economic Development and Societal Instability... Read more »

Nettle D, Grace JB, Choisy M, Cornell HV, Guégan JF, & Hochberg ME. (2007) Cultural diversity, economic development and societal instability. PloS one, 2(9). PMID: 17895970  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 08:50 PM

On individuality, stochasticity and buffering

by Pablo Astudillo in astu's science blog

One of the most exciting fields opened in the last years is the new understanding of the existence of something that we could call as “biological heterogeneity”. This new field of study is focused in observing and understanding the differences between reactions of a same kind, between cells of a same kind, and ultimately, between [...]... Read more »

Novick, A. (1957) Enzyme Induction as an All-or-None Phenomenon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 43(7), 553-566. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.43.7.553  

Raj, A., Rifkin, S., Andersen, E., & van Oudenaarden, A. (2010) Variability in gene expression underlies incomplete penetrance. Nature, 463(7283), 913-918. DOI: 10.1038/nature08781  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 07:25 PM

What Color Is Your Cuneus?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Career counseling via voxel-based morphometry? With the U.S. unemployment rate at 9.5% as of June 2010, job seekers might be willing to try anything to gain an edge. As part of the Trends in Phrenology craze sweeping the field, the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation appears to be capitalizing on the new cultural neurophilia:The Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation is a nonprofit scientific research and educational organization with two primary commitments: to study human abilities and to p........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 07:16 PM

Is there a Biochemical Marker for Suicide?

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Suicide is a sensitive subject, by it’s very nature it seems we are obliged to treat it with kid gloves. In public it is virtually taboo to even mention suicide, in news media euphemisms are employed in order to avoid explicit use of the “S” word. Attitudes are beginning to change, with more vocal discussion [...]... Read more »

Falcone T, Fazio V, Lee C, Simon B, Franco K, Marchi N, & Janigro D. (2010) Serum S100B: a potential biomarker for suicidality in adolescents?. PloS one, 5(6). PMID: 20559426  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 05:55 PM

A Bacterial Influenza Vaccine Factory

by Michael Long in Phased

Mario Alvarez (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico) and coworkers have produced H1N1 vaccines from bacteria, enabling scientists to quickly produce large quantities of vaccines, exceeding current commercial technologies. This news feature was written on July 25, 2010.... Read more »

Aguilar-Yáñez, J., Portillo-Lara, R., Mendoza-Ochoa, G., García-Echauri, S., López-Pacheco, F., Bulnes-Abundis, D., Salgado-Gallegos, J., Lara-Mayorga, I., Webb-Vargas, Y., León-Angel, F.... (2010) An Influenza A/H1N1/2009 Hemagglutinin Vaccine Produced in Escherichia coli. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011694  

  • July 25, 2010
  • 03:32 PM

Mindfulness and exercise?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Now I know this might seem a strange heading when we think of mindfulness practice normally, but this isn’t ‘treatment as usual’. The definition of mindfulness in this study is ‘The body scan practice involves systematically moving awareness through each part of the body and noticing the presence of sensation in a detailed and precise … Read more... Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 01:31 PM

Hey maybe scientists should do more than just wait for their journal to issue a press release on their new fabu article

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

The authors thesis is that the only mandatory communication of results is in peer reviewed journal articles. Scientists aren't required to do other communicating and often leave communication to the public to the media. They ask if is this is adequate given the very low percentage of scientific articles that ever make it into the press, particularly in areas outside of health and medicine, and also given the fact that for everyone out of formal education, the media is their primary source of sci........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 10:10 AM

What Makes Humans Unique? (I): The Evolution of the Human Brain

by Michael in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Hello! This is my first post here at Replicated Typo and I thought I’d start with reposting a slightly modified version of a three-part series on the evolution of the human mind that I did last year over at my blog Shared Symbolic Storage.
So in this and my next posts I will have a look at how human cognition evolved from the perspective of cognitive science, especially ‘evolutionary linguistics,’ comparative psychology and developmental psychology.
In this post I’ll focus on the evolu........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 08:13 AM

Small no-take zones can help top predators

by Joel Rein in Moth Eyes

It’s difficult to protect large marine areas from fishing – a great deal of resources must be put into patrolling and enforcing such an area. However, new research suggests that small but well-targetted protection zones can have a significant effect all the way up the food chain.

African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) are a vulnerable species of [...]... Read more »

Pichegru, L., Gremillet, D., Crawford, R., & Ryan, P. (2010) Marine no-take zone rapidly benefits endangered penguin. Biology Letters, 6(4), 498-501. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0913  

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